Sunday, November 13, 2011


   I just posted a 9 patch pillow tutorial on the Crafty Christmas Club.  Sewing the pillows was a fun way to spend the morning.

    I articulated a goal of 2 hours/ day sewing in November.  Massive fail for last week!  Probably did a total of 5 hours for the week, a far cry from 14.  Will do better this week and will hopefully have stuff to share.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Quilter's Gathering

  Every year for the past 5 years my Mom and I have met in Nashua and attended A Quilter's Gathering.  If you live in New England and enjoy quilting or looking at quilts this is a great conference to go to.  Everyone is SO friendly and the teachers are top notch and it is very reasonably priced.  If you don't want to take a class just go and admire the lovely quilts in the exhibit and shop the many vendors.
  We took two all day classes. We've taken all sorts here - fabric painting, embellishments, machine quilting, pictorial, design -  you name it.  This year we went for traditional.  I lean more towards modern quilting or art quilting but Mom is a scientist by nature and likes the precision of the traditional styles more.  Both of the classes we took this year were with long-time experts in the fields of machine applique and machine free motion quilting.  Interestingly their class topics over the three days were fairly similar but their styles very different.
    Our first class was with Sue Nickels on Feathers and Machine Quilting.  We both want to be more comfortable with free motion quilting.  We spent our day practicing stitching different quilting stitches:
 And then feathers:
And then combining the two:
  She gave us all sorts of tips and good takeaways.  I was very pleased and surprised with how small I could stipple.  The best tip though was using the cut-off fingers of dish gloves on your first two fingers to manipulate the quilt.  Loved it!  This could have easily been a two day class - at the end of the day I just wanted to keep on sewing.
   Yesterday's class was with Harriet Hargrave.  People wait for years to get into one of her classes - we got in on our first try.  This class was on invisible machine applique.  We spent the morning preparing the applique and prepping for sewing.  The first part of the afternoon was balancing the tension and practicing staying on the edge with the tiny tiny stitches we needed to use.  Then we stitched.
  Here is my flower and a leaf close up:

  You can't see stitches.
  I have to admit that normally I use fusible applique - quicker and less fussy but it was good to learn a new technique and to better understand how to manipulate my sewing machine.  And, the opportunity to learn from a master was too good to pass up.  I will finish this block and will try at least a few more so I solidly know how to use this method in the future.
    Mom and I had a good two days together learning and sewing.  We saw some amazing quilts and spent too much money with the vendors.  Next year A Quilters Gathering will be moving to Manchester, NH. and we will be there!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Positively Addictive!

   Making these headbands is like eating M&M's - I can't stop at one or at a reasonable amount.  Go on, try it - it is fun.  All the cool kids are making them.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Glue Gun!

   I bought a glue gun.  It might not have been the wisest of decisions but so far I'm having fun and have learned a few lessons.
    A couple of weeks ago I scored about 3 yards of some pleated rainbow ribbon in a yard sale for a dollar.  I wasn't sure what to do with it but knew I could think of something.  While perusing crafting blogs I've seen several posts about quick and easy homemade headbands.  A little bulb went off and I headed to Joann's, 40% coupon in hand.  Then I went to Walmart for some cheap fabric covered headbands.  Two hours after the idea I had results - nothing like instant gratification:

    The head bands were fairly easy but for me a little messy.  So I thought I would share some lessons learned:
1) glue guns are HOT!
2) hot glue will hurt your finger tips
3) glue sticks when hot - everywhere and everything it touches
4) cover the surface that you are working on unless you want to scrap glue off of it. (See example of an uncovered ironing board)
   But I would call the experiment a success.  I just folded over the ends and glue them down on the inside to keep from unraveling and carefully did a thin strip of glue a couple of inches at a time and centered the ribbon.  Just go slow.  The clean-up took longer than the head bands and I have lots of ideas for variations to try.
    I thought I had a brilliant idea to keep embroidered ribbon from unraveling but it failed.

   I thought if I glued it to fabric and then cut the fabric out the threads would stay contained.  But it was too difficult to not cut into the ribbon and the threads still came out.  Any ideas?  I think a ladybug headband would be darling.